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Reverse Mortgage HECM Counseling
Federal regulations require HECM Counseling for anyone considering a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). This is a great safeguard the government has instituted in order to be sure homeowners are properly educated.
Understanding what to expect from reverse mortgage counselors is an important first step in setting your expectations for your counseling session. Remember, only you can decide if a reverse mortgage is right for your situation. The counselor provides information to assist you in making that decision.
- The counselor is responsible for helping you understand reverse mortgages and the appropriateness of a reverse mortgage to meet your particular need as well as alternatives to a reverse mortgage.
- Reverse mortgage counselors will discuss your financial and other needs for remaining in your home, the features of a reverse mortgage and how it works, your responsibilities with a reverse mortgage, the impact of a reverse mortgage on you and your heirs, and the availability of other assistance you may need.
- The job of the counselor is not to "steer" or direct you towards a specific solution, a specific product, or a specific lender.
- Counselors will help you understand your options and their impacts.
Reverse mortgage counselors are required to follow specific practices, which are designed to ensure you receive quality counseling services and are protected against fraud and abuse. HUD requires that HECM counselors do the following:
- Send you required materials (i.e., this packet) prior to your counseling session, You can access these through our calculator
- Follow established protocols when conducting the counseling session, and
- Follow up with you after the session has concluded.
What You Can Expect from the Reverse Mortgage Counseling Process
Step 1: Schedule an appointment. The counseling process begins when you schedule your appointment for a counseling session. You must schedule an appointment directly with the counseling agency. Your lender cannot initiate or participate in the counseling session. This session is conducted in person or over the telephone; however, HUD advises that, if possible, you meet with your counselor face-to-face to gain greater benefit from your session.
Step 2: Counselor will contact you and send information. Once you have set up an appointment, the agency sends you a packet of information so that you can prepare for your session. Before you begin, you should also know that some agencies charge a fee for counseling; if you cannot afford to pay this fee, you should discuss your inability to pay with the agency at the outset of your session to understand your options.
Step 3: The counselor will collect from you: Your name, contact and other key information, including your interest in obtaining a reverse mortgage, for the counseling session.
Step 4: Counseling session: The counselor will discuss with you your needs and circumstances; provide information about reverse mortgages and other alternative types and sources of assistance that might be available to you. During the session, you will work with the counselor to develop an assessment of your current financial situation using the Financial Interview Tool, which will assist you in determining the best course of action. You should be prepared to discuss your income, debts and expenses. You will also be offered the opportunity to obtain a Benefits Check Up which may provide information on funds and services in your area for which you may qualify.
Step 5: Certificate of Completion: Once you complete your session and you and your counselor are comfortable that you understand the essentials of a reverse mortgage, the counselor will issue a certificate which verifies for a lender that you have successfully completed counseling.
Step 6: Follow up: Your counselors will follow up with you to learn if you need further assistance and to understand the outcome of your counseling session. You may also call your counselor to seek further assistance after your session.Link To HUD’s Website
With Senior Equity Financial, your needs come first. To have one of our Reverse Mortgage Advisors assist you today call us at (800) 261-8507.